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To encourage foreign investment and provide a competitive and hassle-free environment for businesses to flourish, the concept of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was introduced in India, in April 2000. The objective was to offer a level playing field to all domestic enterprises to compete globally, with infrastructural support from the state and central governments. So, what are SEZs and how are they different from other manufacturing and business zones? Here is all you need to know.
SEZ full form and meaning
SEZ refers to Special Economic Zone, which is a special demarcated area or a geographical region that is considered as a duty-free enclave and has different economic laws than the rest of the country. While the objective is to attract foreign direct investments, the SEZ also attracts domestic companies, because of its infrastructural advantages. Some of the countries that have successfully implemented the SEZ policy are China, Poland, Philippines and Russia.
Financial policies related to taxation, trading and investment, customs and labour regulations, are implemented in order to encourage businesses in setting up their operations in the SEZ. India was among the first countries in Asia to recognise the effectiveness of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) model in promoting export. The first EPZ was established in Kandla in 1965. To tackle the challenges of absence of world-class infrastructure and to attract larger foreign investments, the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy was announced in April 2000. The SEZ Act 2005 and SEZ Rules came into effect from 10th February 2006.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are set up to promote rapid economic growth in the country. The main objective including promoting exports of goods and services and encouraging investment from domestic and foreign sources. Infrastructure development, and creation of employment opportunities are among the significant benefits of special economic zones.
Among the main benefits of investing in SEZs in India includes tax incentives for businesses and entities operating in the region and improved infrastructure. It promotes the growth of foreign exchange earnings through exports new employment opportunities.
What is SEZ in India? Features of special economic zone
One of the main objectives of SEZs was enhancing foreign investment and promote an favourable environment for exports. SEZs are developed with world class infrastructure, including roads, transport, storage, etc. and attract foreign investors, thus leading to economic development.
- Enterprises that set up their establishment in SEZs are entitled to incentives, which may include free electricity, water supply, subsidy on land prices, etc.
- These economic zones are designated duty-free industrial parks, to be treated as foreign territory for trade operations, duties and tariffs.
- Usually, no licence is required for import and businesses get exemption from customs duty, on import of capital goods, raw materials, consumable spares, etc.
- SEZs may enjoy exemption from payment of sales tax and service tax on the sale or purchase of goods or services.
- Any supply of goods or services or both to a SEZ unit is considered a zero-rated supply. In other words, supplies into SEZs are exempted from Goods and Services Tax (GST) and are considered as exports.
- The important special economic zones features include employer-friendly labour laws. For example, since SEZ units are considered as ‘public utility services’, no strikes are allowed in such companies without giving the employer six weeks’ prior notice, in addition to the other conditions mentioned in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
See also: A guide to the government’s GST login portal online services
Under the SEZ rules, simplified procedures are established for development, operation, and maintenance of the Special Economic Zones and setting up units and conducting business. The SEZ rules also provide for single window clearance for setting up of a Special Economic Zone, setting up a unit in a SEZ, matters relating to Central as well as State Governments. Simplified compliance procedures and documentation are also set up with emphasis on self certification.
Types of SEZ
Special economic zones encompass Free trade zones (FTZ), Export processing zones (EPZ), Industrial parks or industrial estates, Free economic zones (FZ/ FEZ), Free ports, Bonded logistics parks (BLP) and Urban enterprise zones.
Mentioned below are the different types of special economic zones
- Sector-Specific SEZ: Involved in manufacturing one or more good in a specific sector like electronic goods (land used 10 or more hectares), or one or more services (land used 100 or more hectares).
- Multi-product SEZ: Involved in manufacturing multiple goods or providing multiple services in a specific sector or across different sectors. (land used 1000 or more hectares).
- SEZ in a port/ airport; or for free trade and warehousing: Involved in manufacturing of goods in two or more sectors, entailing trading and warehousing (land used 40 or more hectares).
Who sets up SEZs?
In India, most of the SEZs are set up through a collaboration between the state and central governments. However, any private, public or joint sector agency can also set up SEZs. State governments have a very important role to play in the establishment of these economic zones, as the proposals have to be approved by the local authorities initially, who should give their consent for providing basic infrastructure facilities to the delineated area, such as water, electricity, transportation, etc. Also, the statutory functions of maintaining these SEZs rests with the government. A unit approval committee is formed, which consists of a development commissioner, customs officer and a state government representative, who monitor the performance of SEZs.
List of SEZ in India
|Name of SEZs in India||Location|
|Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone||Visakhapatnam|
|Apache SEZ Development India Private Limited, Nellore||Tada Mandal, Nellore District|
|Hetero Infrastructure Private Limited, Vskp||Nakkapalli, Vishakapatnam|
|Divi’S Laboratories Limited, Vskp||Chippada, Visakhapatnam|
|Brandix India Apparel City Private Ltd., Vskp||Atchutapuram, Visakhapatnam|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, Ramky Pharma City (India) Pvt Ltd, Vskp||Parawada Mandal, Visakhapatnam|
|Mas Fabric Park (India) Pvt Ltd, Nellore||Nellore|
|M/S Bhartiya International SEZ Ltd||Nellore|
|Andhra Pradesh Special Economic Zone||Atchutapuram, Visakhapatnam|
|M/S Apiic Ltd, Naidupeta||Nellore|
|Parry Infrastructure Company Private Limited, Kakinada||Kakinada|
|Sricity Pvt Ltd, Chittoor||Chittoor|
|Iffco Kisan SEZ||Nellore, AP|
|Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd||Srikakulam|
|Apiic Ltd||Village Annagi and Bodduvaripalem, Maddipadu and Korispadu, District Prakasam|
|Apiic, Madhurwada, Hill No 2||Visakhapatnam|
|Apiic Ltd (IT/ITeS) Madhurwada, Hill No 3||Visakhapatnam|
|Apiic It SEZ Kakinada||Kakinada|
|Apiic Ltd & L&T, Keesarapalli||Nakkapalli, Visakhapatnam|
|Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park, Phase-1 Chandigarh||Chandigarh|
|Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park, Phase-2, Chandigarh||Chandigarh|
|Lanco Solar Pvt Ltd||Vill-Mehrumkhurd & Chawardhal, Chhattisgarh|
|Kandla Special Economic Zone||KaSEZ, Kutch|
|Surat Special Economic Zone||Sachin, Surat|
|Adani Mundra Port / Adani Ports||Mundra|
|Surat Apparel Park||Vans, Surat|
|Dahej SEZ Ltd||(Pertains To DC, Dahej SEZ)|
|Synefra Engg & Const Ltd (Formerly Known As Suzlon Infrastructure Ltd)||Vadodara|
|Jubilant Infrastructure Ltd||Vagra, Bharuch|
|E Complex Pvt Ltd||Amreli|
|Zydus Infrastructure Pvt Ltd||Sanand, Ahmedabad|
|Euro Multivision Pvt Ltd||Vill. Shikra, Tal Bhachau|
|Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Ltd||Jamnagar|
|GiDC Apparel Park Ahmedabad||Ahmedabad|
|Sterling SEZ Pvt Ltd||(Pertains To DC, Sterling Ez)|
|Aqualine Properties Pvt Ltd. Gandhinagar||Gandhinagar|
|L&T Ltd Vill Ankhol, Vadodara||Vadodara|
|Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Gandhinagar||Gandhinagar|
|Gift Multi Service SEZ||Gandhinagar, Gujarat|
|Electronic Park SEZ (Ehtp/IT/ITeS)||Gandhinagar|
|Asf Insignia SEZ Pvt Ltd (Formerly Known As Canton Buildwell Pvt Ltd)||Village Gawal Pahari, Tehsil Sohna Gurgaon, Haryana|
|Gurgaon Infospace Ltd, Gurgaon||Gurgaon, Haryana|
|DLF Limited||Gurgaon, Haryana|
|DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon||Gurgaon, Haryana|
|Unitech Realty Projects Ltd||Gurgaon, Haryana|
|Anant Raj Industries Ltd||Sonepat, Haryana|
|Biocon Special Economic Zone||Anekal Taluk, Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Synefra Special Economic Zone||Udupi Taluk, Karnataka|
|Manyata Embassy Business Park SEZ||Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Wipro Limited (Electronic City)||Varthur Hobli, Electronic City, Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Wipro Limited (Sarjapur)||Varthur Hobli, Sarjapur Road, Karnataka|
|Infosys Ltd SEZ (Mangaluru)||Bantwal Taluk, Dakshina, Kannada Dist, Karnataka|
|Infosys Ltd SEZ (Mysuru)||Hebbal Industrial Area, District. Mysuru, Karnataka|
|Vrindavan Techvillage SEZ (Formerly MS Vikas Telecom Ltd)||Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Rmz Ecoworld Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (Formerly Adarsh Prime Projects Pvt Ltd)||Devarabeesanahalli, Bhoganahalli And Doddakanahalli, Karnataka|
|Divyasree Technopark||Kundalahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Karnataka|
|International Technology Park Ltd (ITPL)||Bengaluru Karnataka|
|Cessna SEZ||Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Global Village (Formerly Tanglin SEZ)||Pattengere/Mylasandra Villages, Karnataka|
|HCL Technologies Ltd||Bengaluru District, Karnataka|
|Pritech Park SEZ (Primal Projects Ltd)||Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Bagmane SEZ||Bengaluru North, Karnataka|
|Gopalan Enterprises Pvt Ltd (Global Axis-Hoodi)||KR Puram, Whitefield Bengaluru, Karnataka|
|Mangalore Special Economic Zone||Karnataka|
|Kochi Petrochemicals||Ernakulam District, Kerala|
|Vizhinjam Port of Trivandrum Sez||Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala|
|Kochi Refineries||Ernakulam District, Kerala|
|Kiadb Pharmaceutical Special Economic Zone||Alappuzha , Kerala|
|Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Cochin FACT Aluva||Ernakulam District, Kerala|
|Ksidb SEZ Kannur – Textiles||Kannur, Kerala|
|Ksidc Food Processing Special Economic Zone||Samudravalli, Turavur , Kerala|
|KAL Aerospace SEZ, Kannur||Mattanur , Kannur , Kerala|
|Keonics Adoor||Village Thengamam And Prakoode, District Pathanamthitta, Kerala|
|Larsen and Toubro SEZ||Ksidc Industrial Area, Aluva District Ernakulam , Kerala|
|Cochin Special Economic Zone||Cochin, Kerala|
|Vallarpadam SEZ||Vallarpadam, Kerala|
|Kinfra Film & Video Park (KFVP)||Trivandrum, Kerala|
|Kinfra (Food Processing) SEZ Kakkancherry||Kerala|
|Electronic Technology Park-1||Trivandrum|
|Electronics Technology Park-Ii (MS Electronics Technology Parks)||Trivandrum|
|Electronic Technology Park-3||Trivandrum|
|Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra)||Thrikkakara Village, Kanayannur Taluk, Ernakulam District, Kerala|
|Indore SEZ||Sector-3, Pithampur District Dhar (MP)|
|Crystal IT Park SEZ (MP Audoyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (Indore) Ltd)||Indore In The State Of Madhya Pradesh|
|SEEPZ SEZ||Mumbai, Maharashtra|
|Maharashtra Airport Development Company Ltd (Mihan SEZ )||Mihan, District Nagpur|
|Serum Bio Pharma Park SEZ||212/2, Off Soil Poonawala Rod, Hadapsar, Pune|
|Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, Aurangabad||Shendre Industrial Area, District Aurangabad|
|Infosys Limited||Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Ph II, Village Mann, Taluka Mulashi, Pune|
|Neopro Technologies Pvt Ltd SEZ (Formerly known as M/S Flagship Infrastructure Pvt Ltd)||Village Hinjewadi Taluka Mulshi, Pune|
|The Manjri Stud Farm Pvt Ltd||S No 209, Next to Satyapuram Society Pune – Saswad Road, Phursungi, Pune|
|Syntel International Pvt Ltd||Talawade Software Park, District Pune|
|Magarpatta Township Development And Construction Company Ltd||Magarpatta City Village, Hadapsar, Taluka Haveli, District Pune|
|Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, Hinjewadi, Pune||Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Ph III, Hinjewadi, Pune|
|Eon Kharadi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd||Taluka Haveli, District Pune|
|Pune Embassy India Pvt Ltd||Plot No 3, Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Phase II, Hinjewadi, Taluka Mulshi, District Pune|
|Quadron Business Park Ltd (Formerly known as DLF Akruti Info Parks)||Plot No 28, MIDC Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Hinjewadi, Phase II District Pune|
|Hiranandani Business Park||Pawai, Mumbai|
|Serene Properties Pvt Ltd||Kalwa Trans Thane Creek Industrial Area, MIDC, District Thane|
|Wockhardt Infrastructure Development Ltd||Shendre Industrial Area, District Aurangabad|
|Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation SEZ – Nanded||Krushnoor Industrial Area, Nanded District, Nanded|
|Khed Economic Infrastructure Pvt Ltd||Kanhersar Taluka Khed, District Pune, Maharashtra|
|Wardha Power Company Ltd||Wardha Growth Center, District Chandrapur|
|M/S Arshiya International Ltd||Village Sai, Taluka Panvel, District Raigad|
|Gigaplex Estate Private Limited||Gigaoplex, Plot No 05, MIDC Knowledge Park, Airoli, Navi Mumbai|
|Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, Kesurdi Satara||Kesurdi Taluka Khandala, District Satara|
|Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation SEZ, Phaltan, District Satara||MIDC Phaltan, District Satara|
|Sunstream City Pvt Ltd (Formerly)||Village Mulund, Taluka Kurla, Dist Mumbai Suburban and Village Kopari, Taluka Thane, District Thane|
|Orissa Industries Dev Cor IT SEZ||Bhubaneswar|
|Vedanta Aluminium Limited||Brundamal And Kurbaga Villages, Tehsil and District – Jharsuguda, Orissa|
|Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd||Plot No A-41, Focal Point, Mohali, Punjab|
|Quarkcity India Pvt Ltd||Mohali|
|Jaipur SEZ||Jaipur, Rajasthan|
|Mahindra World City (Jaipur) Ltd||Jaipur, Rajasthan|
|Mahindra World City (Jaipur) Ltd||Kalwara Village, Jaipur, Rajasthan|
|MEPZ Special Economic Zone||Chennai|
|Flextronics Technologies (India) Private Limited||Sriperumbudur|
|Synefra Construction Ltd (Suzlon Infrastructure Ltd)||Coimbatore|
|AMRL SEZ||Nanguneri Taluk, Tirunelveli District|
|Pearl City Cccl||Tuticorin|
|J Matadee||Mannur Village|
|Ig3 Infra Limited (Etl Infrastructure Services Limited)||Thoraipakkam|
|Hexaware Technologies Limited||Siruseri|
|Shriram Properties And Infrastructure Private Limited||Chennai|
|DLF Info City||Porur|
|Estancia IT Park (Formerly known as L&T Arun Ecello)||Chennai|
|Tril Info Park||Tarama|
|Ig3 Infra Ltd||Uthukuli|
|NSL SEZ, Uppal||Uppal|
|DLF Commercial Developers Ltd, Gachibowli||Gachibowli|
|APIIC Ltd – Nanakramguda||Nanakramguda|
|Wipro Limited, Gopannapally||Gopannapally|
|Sundew Properties, Madhapur||Madhapur|
|Stargaze Properties Pvt Ltd, RR Dist||RR District|
|Serene Properties, Ghatkesar||Ghatkesar|
|Jt Holdings Pvt Ltd, RR Dist||RR District|
|Divyasree Nsl, Raidurga||Raidurga, Gachibowli|
|Infosys Tech, Pocharam||Pocharam|
|CMC Limited, Gachibowli||Gachibowli|
|Phoenix Infoparks Pvt Ltd, Gachibowli||Gachibowli|
|Hyderabad Gems SEZ Ltd, RR Dist||RR District|
|M/S GMR Hyderabad Aviation SEZ Limited, Hyderbad||Village Mamidipalli, Rr District|
|Fab City Spv (India) Pvt Ltd, RR Dist||RR District|
|M/S Apiic Ltd., Adibatla, Ibrahim Patnam, RR Dist,||Ranga Reddy District, AP|
|Apiic Pharma SEZ – JaDCherla||JaDCherla|
|Tech Mahindra Limited (Satyam Computers), Bahadurpally||Bahadurpally|
|Tech Mahindra Limited (Satyam Computers), Madhapur||Madhapur|
|Maytas Enterprises SEZ Pvt Ltd, Gopannpally||Gopanpally|
|Indu Techzone Pvt Ltd, Mamidipally||Mamidipally|
|Lanco Hills Technology, Manikonda||Manikonda|
|Wipro Limited, Manikonda||Manikonda|
|TCSl Ltd, Adibatla||Adibatla(Developer)|
|Navayuga Legala Estates Pvt Ltd, Serilingampally||Serilingampally|
|Apiic Ltd||Shameerpet RR District|
|OMICS International||Chandanagar-Ameenpur Medak District|
|Noida Special Economic Zone||Uttar Pradesh|
|Moradabad SEZ||Moradabad, UP|
|Moser Baer SEZ, Greater Noida||Greater Noida|
|Aachvis Softech Pvt Ltd||Sector-135, Noida, Uttar Pradesh|
|Wipro Ltd||Greater Noida|
|NIIT Technologies Limited SEZ||Plot No Tz-02, Sector-Tech Zone, ITES Park, Greater Noida, UP|
|Ansal IT City And Parks Limited||Greater Noida|
|Seaview Developers Limited||Sector-135, Noida, Uttar Pradesh|
|Arshiya Northern Ftwz Limited||Khurja, Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh|
|Artha Infratech Pvt Ltd||Plot No 21, Sector-Techzone – IV, Greater Noida|
|Falta Special Economic Zone||Falta, West Bengal|
|Manikanchan SEZ, W Bengal||Kolkata, West Bengal|
|Salt Lake Electronic City – Wipro, West Bengal||Kolkata, West Bengal|
|ML Dalmiya & Co Ltd||Kolkata|
|Unitech Hi-Tech Structures Ltd||Rajarhat, Kolkata, West Bengal|
|Tata Consultancy Services Limited||Rajarhat, Kolkata, West Bengal|
|DLF Limited||Rajarhat, Kolkata, West Bengal|
What is SEZ full form?
SEZ stands for special economic zone.
What is an SEZ in India?
SEZ is a special, demarcated geographical region, which has different economic laws to promote investments.
What is the difference between SEZ and EPZ?
A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area selected by the government for development and has distinct laws that are business-friendly, to manufacturing, service or trading establishments. An export processing zone (EPZ) is similar to an SEZ but is designed to help manufacturing companies to produce goods for export.
(With inputs from Surbhi Gupta)